Stefanie Pintoff — A Curtain Falls

I enjoyed Pintoff’s debut but I think this book might have been better. After the shocking events of the previous mystery, Detective Simon Ziele is splitting his time between Dobson and New York City, where he assists his former partner, now-Captain Mulvaney, with difficult cases. And he has cause to call in Alistair Sinclair when Broadway actresses are found made up and strangled on stage, with cryptic notes besides their bodies. I enjoyed this book more than the first; Sinclair’s involvement isn’t quite as prominent, and although there was a similar pattern to the murderer as in the previous volume (let’s just say it wasn’t some random out of left field), it was at least a little less telegraphed than the first. The mystery is twisty, creepy, and exciting, and Ziele is a policeman with a heart and a poetic turn of phrase. Turn-of-the-century New York, especially the glittering world of the theatre, is evocatively portrayed. Highly recommended.

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